If you want to make a living from your music or if you aspire to start a music-blog/website then you came to the right place.
I created this article for the music artists, songwriters, musicians, music producers, mixing and mastering engineers that are looking to scale their business further or take the first step towards earning good money from their music skills and knowledge.
This is the overview of the steps you need to take if you want to make money with music online:
1) Choose your niche
2) Create your website/blog
3) Optimize your website/blog
4) Drive traffic to your website (using: Blogging, YouTube, Forums, and social media)
5) Monetize your website (using: ads, the Amazon affiliate program, affiliate info-products, your own info-products, also by selling services, merchandise, and songs.)
I suggest you grab a cup of coffee or tea; this is going to be a looong article filled with valuable tips and tricks for you to discover! Let’s begin!
1) Step One: Choose Your Niche
Before I explain the monetization secrets I learned in the past years, the first step we need to take is to choose a niche.
A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that it is intended to target. It is also a small market segment.
Why Choose A Niche?
By focusing on your niche, you have the chance to explore and create content beyond your music by combining your passions and interests into your daily conversation with your fans.
A niche helps you to stand out and differentiate your self from your competition. It also helps you to focus on a portion of the market. By doing that you can become an expert of your client’s needs, wants, goals, and pains.
Also, a deep level of understanding of your market will help you to create products that solve their problems (pain) or fulfill their needs.
Solve their pain, and they will become thriving fans.
Let’s take pop music as an example. Let’s imagine that the following numbers are true. If you were to investigate the pop niche, your results might look similar to these ones:
(note: the following results are for illustration purposes only)
Ideal Pop Client/Listener Stats (example)
- Your target audience is between 14-35 years old.
- 75% of your audience is female.
- 60% uses Instagram as their primary social media outlet.
- 75% uses YouTube as their primary music listening platform.
- 40% earns more than 2.000$ per month.
- Their 3 biggest fears (pains are) “pain1,” “pain2,” “pain 3”.
So if you know that 75% of your target audience is female, it might be a smart move to use that to your advantage. How? By let’s say adjusting the lyrics of your songs, or using social media (brand) colors that resonate more with a female audience.
Your Next Step Is to Create an Empathy Map
An empathy map allows you to “enter” the mind of your prospects.
You can use an empathy map to gain a deeper insight into your customers. Much like a user persona, an empathy map can represent a group of users, such as a customer segment.
To find the data for your empathy map use resources such as:
- Social media posts
- 0ne-on-one conversations
- Diary studies
- Qualitative surveys
- Your own experience
Here Is an Example of How to Go About Creating an Empathy Map
“A sample empathy mapping session may be as follows: Assemble your team and have them bring any personas, data, or insights about the target of your empathy map.
Print out or sketch the empathy map template on a large piece of paper or whiteboard. Hand each team member sticky notes and a marker. Each person should write down their thoughts on stickies. Ideally everyone would add at least one sticky to every section. You might ask questions, such as:
- What would the user be thinking & feeling? What are some of their worries and aspirations?
- What would their friends, colleagues, and boss be likely to say while the user is using our product? What would the user hear in these scenarios?
- What would the user see while using our product in their environment?
- What might the user be saying and/or doing while using our product? How would that change in a public or private setting?
- What are some of the user’s pain points or fears when using our product?
- What gains might the user experience when using our product?
(Of course, you can do this all by your self; there is no team required.)
So if we retake pop music as an example a rough version of your empathy map may look like this:
This Is What Your Target Audience:
- Sees: Their school, their job, their house, etc.
- Hears: Their friends, their mother, their partner, etc.
- Says & does: “I want to be successful and feel good”, or “I don’t like school, I want to party,” etc.
- Thinks & feels: “I am afraid that if I’m not cool, I won’t be accepted by the kids at school”, or “I often feel insecure about my looks,” etc.
How to Use the Information from the Empathy Map
By knowing what your target audience feels, you can create songs that address these feelings. If you know that your audience is concerned about their looks, then why not create a song that talks exactly about that?
Or id you know that your target audience wants to party and skip school, you can create more party-themed songs.
Here is a video that further explains the empathy map concept
I hope you get the picture.
How to Choose a Niche If You’re Not a Performing Artist
If you are a songwriter, a producer, a mixing/mastering engineer, you should carefully think of your niche if you haven’t done that already.
To make the right decision and pick a niche that satisfies you but is also profitable, I would suggest first to look what you love doing (rock, pop, rap etc) and second to look at the current trends and popular genres.
The reason I suggest you look at trends is to determine if a particular niche is profitable. Jazz, for example, is in low demand compared to Rock.
You have a better chance of making a good living if you follow a popular genre. More people = more demand = more work. But also more competition. So be sure to pick a niche within a niche (and become damn good at it!).
Look at the Best in the Business
If you study at the best songwriters, you’ll discover they all have a niche. Yes, they may be able to write good songs in most genres, but if you notice, they are particularly good at one.
Take, for example, the famous Max Martin. Although the music he primarily enjoys is rock music, he is one of the best in creating impressive Pop music. Thus his niche is pop music.
Other songwriters that have pop music as their primary niche are Benny Blanco, Poo-Bear, and Greg Kurstin. These legends have written number-one hits for big-name artists such as Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, or Adele.
This niche trend is also present to music producers (Noah James Shebib, Metro Booming, Frank Dukes, Shellback, etc) and mixing/mastering engineers (Dave Pensado, Chris Lord-Alge, Andrew Scheps).
Although a lot of mixing and mastering engineers tend to engage themself in a variety of genres, the “choosing a niche pattern” still holds for the most part.
4 Questions To Answer That Will Help You Find Your Niche
I designed these questions to help you guide your focus towards the right direction. Please take a moment to answer them.
Q1: How can a standout and make people interested in my music services/products?
Q2: How can I be unique and extremely sellable?
Q3: How can I uniquely differentiate myself and stand out from the rest in my genre?
Q4: What skills do I need? Do I already own these skills? What more can I improve?
2) Step Two: Create Your Website
Now that we know our niche it’s time to create a website!
Don’t skip this step even if you already own a website since I will also talk about common mistakes a lot of website owners make.
At a glance, these are the steps you need to take to create a website:
- Choose and buy a domain.
- Get your website and hosting.
- Get a WordPress theme.
- Get an email service provider.
- Get access to the right images.
A) Choose and Buy a Domain
Choosing a domain is a crucial part of our journey.
Most of you will want to use your artist name as your domain (myartistname.com) since that is your brand and your identity.
However, if your name isn’t directly related to your brand, you can choose a domain that represents your niche (ex. Metalheadmixing.com or edmproductions.com etc)
B) Trademark Protection
Before you purchase a domain name, you must make sure your domain name does not violate someone else trademark.
Often local trademark businesses will provide free domain availability research. Try contacting a few of them to acquire more information. Alternatively, you can check the main availability yourself using this link USPTO.gov once you’re on their side to perform a TESS trademark search.
However, keep in mind that A clear TESS trademark result does not mean that you can use the name without encountering trouble. You’re better of by using a professional agency; as they conduct extensive research
I won’t get in any more details regarding trademark registration. For more information, you can contact your local trademark agency.
C) Choose the Correct Domain Extension
- Always choose a .com domain, especially if you’re planning on working with international customers. It’s true that .com domains are more trusted than let’s say .net or .info domains. I know this is totally absurd, but its a fact, not an opinion.
- The only reason you should NOT use a .com domain is when you’re not intending to go globally, meaning you’re planning in staying within the borders of your country. Still, even then, a .com domain wouldn’t hurt.
- Furthermore, consider what other businesses are doing. For example, it’s not uncommon for local businesses to use domains that indicate their country of origin. In the Netherlands, they use the .nl extension, and, in the UK, they use the .co.uk extension.
- Now, if your domain name isn’t available with your desired extension try being creative and alter the name a bit (ex. mixingmetal.com VS metalmixing.com) or find a domain extension that is used in your country of residence.
- There are, of course, examples of websites that use other types of domain extensions, and they are successful, but as a general rule, I advise against it.
What You Should Avoid Regarding Domain Names:
- You should avoid choosing spammy domain names or domains that are too long (such as musicmixingnow88787.com or thebestpopproductionsforyou.com). Of course, this is an over-exaggeration, but I’m trying to make a point here.
- Avoid domains that don’t end on a .com (such as .net, .info, or .io). If .com isn’t available, be creative or try using your country or residence most popular domain extension
D) Get Your Website and Hosting
The most popular option is to host a website at WordPress.org. The cost of the hosting provider, the theme and domain name can be as low as 100$.
There are a lot of hosting companies out there, picking one of them can be a stressful task, luckily I have already done the research for you.
- I strongly recommend GreenGeeks. They are super fast, very reliable, and you’re doing Earth a favor by using their green energy!
Just visit greengeeks.com and register for their basic plan called “lite”.
It’s worth mentioning that GreenGeeks offers the great option of hosting multiple websites in the same account, without the need to purchase a new hosting plan for every new website. This comes at no additional cost to you.
You can watch this video that guides you through the process of registering with greengeeks.
What you should avoid:
- Unreliable hosting providers. As a rule of thumb, avoid unknown providers or providers with a lot of bad reviews.
E) Install WordPress and set up SSL
Now its time to install WordPress.
For your information, WordPress is software that gets installed on your hosting service. This is not wordpress.com. Instead, we’re talking about wordpress.org.
The main difference is that at WordPress.com, they host your site for you, and you’re very limited in what you can do. There are other options, such as Wix.com or Squarespace, but I prefer wordpress.org because they give you full control, plus the majority of websites are using this platform.
Installing WordPress involves downloading and uploading files to your host. For further details explore this video:
What is SSL?
SSL certificates are used to create encrypted channels between the client and the server. Data such as credit card details, account login information, and other sensitive information must be encrypted for better protection.
What you should avoid: Avoid not using SSL. In fact, Google advices its users to avoid sites without SSL protection. Chrome browser will even show you a warning asking you if you really want to visit this “unsafe site”. Whether you agree or disagree with Google, simply add the SSL function, and let’s move on.
Step 3) Optimize Your Website/Blog
We will now explore which theme to use and why, plus a few other optimizations you should follow.
A) Choose a Theme to Use with Your Site
Please don’t devote too much time picking a theme, simply pick and choose one of the options I list below and move on to the next step.
But if you have in mind something really specific (with good reason) and you absolutely need a custom-built website, then you can hire a professional to do the work for you. If that’s the case, I suggest you hire someone from either Fiverr.com or Upwork.com.
These Are the Best WP Themes for Music Bloggers and General Blogging Websites
If you’re planing of blogging a lot as a means to drive traffic to your website, look no further and opt for one either Acabado or Foodica theme.
This is a great looking and fast, reliable theme. The only downside is that the theme isn’t working with the Thrive Themes plugins ( including their popular page builder). Minus that, I have used Acabado A LOT, and I must say it is my number one choice!
The following is a quote from the Income school website: “Acabado isn’t designed to be the most customizable theme, but it’s stupid fast and the simplest WordPress theme we’ve seen. It’s also compatible with both Elementor and Divi Page builders. If you’re just getting started, this is 100% the theme you should get”
Foodica is quite similar to Acabado theme; the main difference is that Foodica is compatible with Thrive Architect ( a popular page builder), and Acabado isn’t (yet). If you must use Thrive Themes, then I would most definitely go for the Foodica theme!
This is a description of Foodica from the WP Zoom website: “Foodica is perfect for creating food based blogs, magazines, and recipe websites. Ten color schemes, Recipe Index, a beautiful featured slider, and WooCommerce integration mean Foodica is packed with features to help you stand out.”
I know they mention food-based blogs, but in reality, you can use Foodica for whatever type of website you wish.
The Best WP Theme for Artist/Songwriters/Producers/Musicians
You have two options.
NOTE: Acabado isn’t (yet) compatible with Thrive Architect in early 2020.
- The advantage of of using a fst theme with a page builder is that you get both speed and optimization!
- Even if you use a page builder to create custom pages, you will be able to achieve fast loading times. Also, you can literally change and re-arrange everything.
- The downside is that you will need to invest either time, money, or both to achieve the desired result.
Option two: Use an already customized theme that works out of the box. Pick and choose any theme you like from sonaar.io. They have great prices and awesome looking themes. I absolutely recommend them!
Of course, there are more important settings you must configure, which I won’t touch upon in this article.
If you want to learn how to edit them by yourself, I suggest you explore the video series of this YouTuber WP With Tom. His channel is fairly new but very informative. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRAMDZuYEEWFBY1X0GKTRsA
B) Add a Sidebar to Your Site
One of the best actions you can take is adding a sidebar to your site. This is a perfect ad space and perfect for information you may want to add to your site.
For a real-life example, just have a look at the sidebar of this website, just look at the —> right side, and you’ll get what I mean.
C) Set up Google Analytics
Congratulations! This is our last action for Step two: Optimising your site!”
- Google Analytics is a free website analytics service that gives you insights into how users find and use your website; it also tells you how many visitors have visited your site.
- The following video explains how to optimize and install the analytics code.
PS If you want your site to keep its high loading speed absolutely need to install a couple of plugins:
- This is an absolutely awesome plugin! This plugin alone will speed up your bebsite 10X.
- What it does it reduces the size of your images; thus it reduces the loading time of your pages.
- The plugging is free, and you can get a couple of credits to use per month for a very low cost. Grab this plugin right now!
- We mentioned SSL before; what this plugin does is it forces you website to use SSL. Warning: if your hosting company automatically redirects your traffic to your secured SSL connection then you don’t need this plugin. Email your host and ask him.
- This supreme plugin will speed up your site A LOT! Don’t think about it. Simply install it and experience a faster site.
PS. You’re likely to continue optimizing your site if you do make sure to always A-B test your site’s performance before and after you install a plugin. The tool you should use to see how your site is performing is called Google Pagespeed Insights.
How to Create a Website for Free
As we saw you can create a one-page website using WordPress.org for about $100.
But if you’re not familiar with the platform or don’t want to invest money that early in your journey, I have a wonderful free solution for you that’s called Carrd.
Carrd is a company that gives you the opportunity to create up to three websites for free! Their sites look elegant and very professional; the only catch is that you get a somewhat limited builder and no custom domain.
The good news is that if you want the full builder and a custom domain (alongside other benefits), you can purchase a subscription for as low as $9 per year! Yes, that is $9 per year, not per month!
Let’s now move on to step four.
STEP 4: Drive Traffic to Your Website
Now that your site is all set, we need to find a way to drive traffic to it. As a general rule, no traffic = no income.
I will talk about five different ways you can use the Internet to get your site noticed by the world.
Here is an overview of the 5 ways of driving traffic to your music website.
- Traffic driver No1: Blogging
- Traffic driver No2: YouTube
- Traffic driver No3: Pinterest
- Traffic driver No4: Forums
- Traffic driver No5: Social-media
Traffic Driver No1: Blogging
Blogging is a great tool you can use to drive traffic to your site. You may have heard that it’s all about video these days, but don’t let that fool you. People always did and will always continue to read.
With blogging alone, you can generate thousands of customers per month visiting your site. I know, because I have done it! In fact, that’s how YOU got here finding and reading this article — all done by this “simple” blog post 😉 .
What to look out for when blogging.
- Write quality content
- Write longer content
If you decide to use blogging as a means to drive traffic to your site (which I highly recommend), you should follow one simple but very important rule.
Write what people want, not what you think they want.
- Allow me to explain. This is actually very simple, if you don’t write what people search, people won’t find what you write. Let’s imagine for a moment you decide to write a blog titled “My Musical Inspiration, Written by John Doe”.
- At first sight, you may think that this is a great title and topic – and it could be if you had thousands of visitors coming to your site each month because they know YOU and they search YOUR name and are interested in YOUR story.
- If that’s the case, great! You are in the 1%, and you could get away with it by writing this type of content.
- But for 99% of the people reading this, writing such articles equals with content-suicide.
- If you’re just starting out or even if you have a website with thousands of traffic but its cold traffic (your visitors dont know your site/blog/brand or who you are. Then I can guarantee that articles similar to the example listed above will NOT yield any results whatsoever!
What you need to do is to carefully plan and construct the articles you write based on a specific type of research. This technique is called the alphabet soup method.
Use the Alphabet Soup Method
- One of the easiest ways to discover what people are searching for in Google is by simply navigating yourself to google.com and start typing a word or a phrase.
- You will notice that the moment you start typing, Google will try to guess what you’re about to search. This autosuggestion function that Google provides for free is the key to discover what people are searching for.
- Here is an example. In google, I started typing “what genres is” and immediately, Google started showing me searches that match my prase.
- If I decide I want to write an article about a certain topic, I click on the suggestion that came up, and I start reading the articles that already exist for that specific search term.
- I do this because it’s important to assess the competition before writing the article. If I see that a lot of articles are written about that topic, and if I can’t add something new, I may avoid writing it.
3 Things I Look for Before Writing a New Blog Post:
1) The number of articles that already exist for the specific search term.
2) The quality of these articles.
3) If the websites that written these articles are authority websites, niche websites, or just generic websites.
Below I explain my thought process.
1) The number of articles that already exist for the specific search term.
As I mentioned above, If there are a lot of articles (and good once) that already exist, I will probably avoid writing mine.
2) The quality of these articles
However, if I believe I can add value and write a better-quality article, the chances of me writing about this topic increase.
Lastly, if I spot big authoritative names/brands (such as Billboard, Rolling stone magazine, etc.) I will probably avoid writing this article.
The same rule applies if I spot websites that are dedicated to the topic I’m searching for.
3 Things You Can Do, to Write Successful Blog Posts
There are three main strategies you can follow to increase the traffic to your website and rank your articles on the first page of Google.
- Target very specific search terms.
- Dedicate your site/blog on one specific aspect of that topic.
- Go on YouTube.
Target Precise Search Terms
If you want to improve your chances of ranking on the first page of Google and increase your overall traffic the first thing you should do is to target very specific search terms.
- The reason why this strategy is so successful is that most general search terms are already being covered by other sites (most of them are authority sites).
- Try this out if you like, search for the following phrase “how to learn guitar” you will notice that there are A LOT of articles that address this search term. Thus this means a lot of competition for us.
- Compare the above search term with this one: “how to play guitar with no hands” Right away, you will see that the search results are much less compared to the first search term we entered.
Obviously, this is just an example, but it illustrates a point of trying to make: targeting particular searches that have little competition will increase your chances of beating your competition and even rank on the first page of Google for searches related to the specific term
Dedicate Your Site/Blog on One Specific Aspect of a Topic
The second strategy you can use for your blog is dedicating articles on one specific aspect of a topic.
A few examples of successful niche websites are:
Not all of these sites feature a blog, but you get the point.
- The reason these sites are successful because the traffic that lands landed on these sites is likely interested in finding out more about the topic they searched for.
- Plus, when Google sees that your site is a niche site, it perceives you as an expert; thus it raises your credibility and your rankings. Of course, there is more to it, but if you understand only this, you’re already halfway through.
Go on YouTube
YouTube is like the secret weapon of bloggers and people with a website.
The reason for that is often on YouTube; there is less competition compared to blogs. And even if there is a lot of competition, you have a higher chance of beating it.
- Take as an example the search term “how to weight lift with back pain” this is a very competitive keyword when it comes to blogs, a lot of authority websites have written about this topic.
- But take the same search term on YouTube, and you’ll see that some of the top leaders are from accounts that have a low subscriber rate.
- Yes, this is a competitive search also on YouTube, but if you produce a killer filled with golden nuggets video, you have a great chance of beating many of the competition!
I talk more about YouTube bellow.
Traffic Driver No2: YouTube
Above, we explored the difference between blog posts and videos. Now we going to go a step further and see how YouTube can help us sell our products better.
- When I say products, I mean almost everything you can imagine: CDs, LPs, merchandise, books, signed material, video courses, and other info products.
- If you want anyone to buy your products, they first have to know you, like you and trust you. In other words, you need to form a connection with your audience. And that is where YouTube comes in place.
Blogging may still be the No1 method for driving traffic to your site, but Youtube is absolutely the best way of creating a connection with your audience, make them trust you, and have them buy from you more easily.
I have also created an awesome list for you with all the gear you’ll need to get started on YouTube. All the tools are tested and approved; they are the best you can use without breaking the bank. You can read the gear list right here.
Let’s continue. If you decide to continue with YouTube, you should understand the difference between Cold and Hot traffic.
There Are Two Types of Traffic, Cold and Hot Traffic
Cold traffic is traffic that came to your site without knowing who you are.
Most likely, you are (at this very moment) cold traffic.
This is evident if you typed a search query in Google and landed on this page or got led her from a random YouTube video. Of course, cold traffic can be targeted, which leads to more opt-ins, but will still have fewer sales than hot traffic.
Hot traffic is traffic that came to you because they know who you are. They likely have subscribed to your YouTube account, podcast, and social media services and are following you for quite some time now.
If you want to increase sales conversions, it’s required that you warm up your cold traffic sources. This is accomplished by engaging with your potential customers, whether through your site, YouTube, email list, and social media.
My Last tip on youtube is: You will see a much larger increase in income if you have a product to sell to your audience, such as an info product. We will talk more about info products and how to profit from them in step 4 of this article.
What you should avoid: Avoid buying followers likes and other shady marketing tactics.
Traffic Driver No3: Pinterest
Pinterest is a great way of driving traffic to your site, yes, the overall search volume on Pinterest is significantly lower than on Google, but nevertheless, it’s a significant source of income.
But I’m going to do for you is share a few golden nuggets and tools you can implement on Pinterest and drive traffic to your site.
- I must warn you: If you come across a guide or an article on how to use Pinterest to drive traffic, please have a look at the release date. Pinterest has changed the last few years significantly; thus, many of the “expert advice” that is out there is outdated.
In contrast, the information I provide to you in this article is up to date. I have done extensive research to discover these strategies; and the best part? They do work -all of them!
Why Is There a Traffic Problem on Pinterest?
- One of the main problems we encounter with Pinterest is the same as all major services, such as (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram). They all make money by showing you ads, but for them to do so, you have to stay on their platform.
The longer you stay on the platform, the more ads you see, the more money they make. So if your pins all have external links added to them, which as a result, drives traffic away, Pinterest will stop showing these types of pins and bury them way down in the feed.
- The second problem we face is that 92% of all active accounts on Pinterest are owned by women; that means there are only 8% men that own an active account. Be careful were talking here about active accounts and not how many people sign up each month on Pinterest.
This results (without being stereotypical) that most pins are highly feminine, talking about feminine topics posting pictures that apply to women. That means that targeting a male audience will, in most cases, do very poorly.
- The third problem is that Pinterest avoids showing pins that have attacks on them.
If you see a picture of food, this doesn’t necessarily make you want to go to the website link, but if you see a picture of food with text on it that says “the five best recipes for weight loss” this will have a greater chance of sending off traffic to an external site.
This is because pins with text don’t add value to that from itself it’s just a portal for your post or website.
How to get around these problems?
- The very first solution for getting your pins to be shared more regardless if they have external links or text added to them is by effectively using the software Tailwind. And more specifically function “Tribes.”
- What Tailwind Tribes does it essentially allow you to join groups where everybody shares each other’s pins.
- This will show the algorithm of Pinterest that this is potentially good content because it’s shared a lot, even if it sometimes drives traffic of the platform.
Solution No2: Pin Pictures that Already Are on Your Website
If you treat Pinterest as a search engine, you will see that by
- by properly optimizing the descriptions of your images on your site, and
- by properly adding the metadata
By doing these things, you increase the chance of your pictures to rank high on Pinterest.
Other tactics you can use on Pinterest to drive traffic to your site are:
- Add a compelling headline so that you make your pin stand out in the feed based on people’s interests.
- Use keywords that you believe your target audience will search for.
- Set up a business Pinterest account
- Use colors that apply to your target audience.
- Spend time on the platform, identify buzz words, styles of pictures, descriptions etc. What captivates you will likely captivate also your audience.
- Since many times the title/ description and hashtags of an image won’t show, you should also add text on your images so that your audience can visually see “what they’re getting.” The risk here is that Pinterest may not show these types of pins enough because of the added text. So what you can do is repin the same image but with a different title and description only this time without the on-picture-text.
- Create boards and pin only pictures that are related to your site/industry. By doing that, you won’t confuse the people who try to follow you.
Traffic driver No4: Forums
Another great way of driving traffic to your website is by indulging in forums such as Quora or Reddit. In this strategy, there is one rule that applies that you should remember: give value before asking for something in return.
In other words, people don’t like it when they are being sold to. That’s why forums are an excellent way of providing value to potential customers so that they start knowing who you are and trusting you. Of course, our main goal is to drive this traffic to your site and eventually have them either listen to music or buy something from you.
The outline of the forum strategy is as follows:
- Figure out what your target audience is. For example, if you create jazz music, you target audience is probably people above the age of 30 that listen to jazz.
- Figure out where your target audience hangs out online. A great way to do that is by searching something in Google and at the end type the word forum. This will narrow down the search results is and bring up four forums that are related to your search.
- Subscribe to the individual groups and engage with them, in other words, start answering questions!
Keep doing this consistently for about 20 to 40 minutes per day and after a couple of weeks, you’re likely to be recognized as one of the top contributors in your niche.
- PS. If you are an artist and you’re not planning to create a blog, you can still offer general advice. People will value that because it comes from an “expert” and a professional (that’s you).
- Simply mention that you are an artist and, from time to time, provide them with links to your website and music.
Traffic driver No5: Social-Media
One thing that its a fact with social media is that most platforms I know of are bad for sending traffic to an external source.
It’s true that in the past, Facebook was a great source of traffic. You could create groups, post a couple of times per month, and when you announce that a new course, product, CD, or merch was available, you would immediately get sales.
The problem with platforms similar to Facebook (same as Pinterest) is that they make money from traffic. But you also make money from traffic. That’s why they are safeguarding their users, not showing posts that are driving them traffic away.
Even big Facebook pages that have over half a million subscribers, the platform won’t allow the owners to reach their audience unless if you pay them a hefty sum.
With Social Media, You Should Have Only Two Goals
- Drive traffic to your website.
- Create a community.
The community goal is going to benefit you almost exclusively if you are an artist. If, on the other hand, you own a blog about music, chances are you won’t benefit nearly in the same magnitude compared to an artist by building a community.
The reason is that as a blogger, you want traffic on your site.
As an artist, you want that too, but you also want people to get to know you and come to your show. The later is the value you will get by creating communities on social media.
If You’re a Blogger Watch Out
If you’re a blogger, you should change social media platforms as soon as the old one stops sending traffic to your site!
- If you notice that your traffic is lessening immediately, quit that specific platform and move your followers to somewhere else.
- A drop in traffic is an early sign that that platform is getting greedy and will soon enough want all of your traffic.
- Also, be careful since social media engagement can suck up all of your time.
If however, you decide to continue using social, make sure the time you put into it matches what you’re getting out of it. Two great social media platforms we already talked about are Pinterest and YouTube.
- One more thing to consider is to put content out there that is evergreen; in other words, the content you produce should still be valuable and searchable a few years from now.
- A great example of the opposite we just talked about is Twitter, as soon as you put a post on Twitter after an hour, it’s gone, buried under hundreds of other tweets. We don’t want that!
How About Instagram For Music Artist?
- Instagram is a great option for artists and producers that are seeking to sell their songs for beats. It’s not that great an option if you are a blogger and you solely rely on traffic generated from your website.
- With Instagram, the key to success is mastering hashtags (#) and create shareable content that grabs the eye. A common practice is creating one-minute videos that feature the tack you want to promote. Dont forget to add a link in your description.
- A final tip I want to share with you about Instagram is: focus on hashtags that are a million or less in size. The reason for that is your post will vanish almost instantly when you use hashtags that have more than a million users because of the high posting rate that occurs.
Grab another cup of coffee or tea because we will now transition to step number five: How to monetize your website! 🙂
Step 5: Monetize Your Website
Having A website is great, but if you want to earn money from it, you should monetize it.
There are a few ways you can do that. The monetization strategies paired with the traffic generators, we discussed above give you a powerful blueprint for success.
7 Ways to Monetize Your Music Website
- Ads: Use an ads broker
- Amazon affiliate/ review products
- Info product-Affiliate marketing
- Create your own info product
- Sell services
- Sell merchandise
- Sell songs
Website Monetization Method No1: Ads
One of the easiest ways to monetize your website or blog is by using an ad-broker.
- An ad-broker adds advertisements on your site. The way they do that is by working with companies that pay them for the ability to advertise their products on sites.
- Popular ad-brokers include Ezoic or Adsence. Almost everyone that has a new site starts with Google AdSense. In a nutshell, the more visitors you get, the more money you will receive from the ads that are running on your site.
The Great Thing About Ads Is That They Are Completely Passive
Different advertising companies have different rules that you need to meet in order to be qualified the use their service.
- The one that is easier to get in is AdSense.
- Right after that, we have Ezoic (with 10.000 views per month)
- Then Mediavine that requires up to 30.000 page views per month and lastly my favorite ad broker:
- Adthrive. To get into Adthrive, you need 100.000 page views per month.
Since AdSense is the easiest to get started with, they are also the lowest paying company on this list. Then comes Ezoic and then the rest.
There is also the option of selling private ad space on your website, but if you’re just starting out, this won’t be of interest to you — more on private ad spaces on a later post.
Website Monetization Method No2: Amazon Affiliate
2020 UPDATE: Amazon Associates commission just got cut down by half! Because of these recent changes, I do not recommend Amazon affiliates anymore. Instead, you will have to research and find an affiliate platform that works well with your niche.
You may have heard about Amazon’s affiliate service. In a nutshell, Amazon offers a commission to anyone who promotes her products. That means that if you add a link to an Amazon product on your site and someone clicks on it and buys it, you will get a percentage of the product price.
To receive your commission, you must be a part of the affiliates program called Amazon Associates. You can visit the site via this link https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/?tag=psu0e-20 and register.
Before Listing Affiliate Products on Your Site Ask Yourself These 5 Questions
Q1: What is the duration of the buying process?
There are a lot of products that you research online to purchase, and a later date, we want the products we recommend an Amazon to be brought within 24 hours.
That’s how long Amazon stores our cookie credentials. That means that whenever someone clicks on one of your affiliate links everything they purchase in the next 24 hours, you will get a commission from.
If they decide to purchase the product, they clicked on, on your website, after the timeframe of 24 hours you won’t get a commission from that purchase even if they saved it in their list.
What’s more, there are some product categories that people prefer to buy at their local store, such as cameras or products that are custom-fit to their users. One of the main reasons is that they want to try it before they buy it.
Q2: Is this the best product I can recommend to my audience?
You should most definitely ask yourself this question before promoting anything.
I always recommend promoting products not because of the high commission rate but because they are the best solution for your audience. Don’t ever promote something you don’t believe in. Trust me, if you do, it’s going to come back and bite you in the ass.
Q3: Is there the item’s price high enough for a good commission?
Let me give you an example. An item that costs four or five dollars is going to bring you about $0.30 in commission. That means you have to sell a lot of that particular product in order to make a decent amount of money.
Since you will devote the same time and energy to promote $4 product or $100 product, you may choose from the start the product with the highest price.
Be careful! Remember the question we talked about before? First, always ask yourself, “Is this the most valuable product I can offer to my audience?” And only when you’ve answered a question with a yes look at the product price.
Q4: What is the commission percentage I will earn for this category?
This is a significant question to answer. Different products belong in different categories, and different categories have different commission rates.
Some commission rates may give you only 3 or 4% of the price, while other commission rates may go as high as 12% or 15%.
Q5: How can I sell this product not directly but from an angle?
The truth is that if you simply place a product on your website and tell people to buy it, you will see little return on investment. Everyone is doing that, and by doing the same, you don’t differentiate yourself from the competition.
Instead, if you say something like: “This product has helped me improve my results by 50%” or something along those lines, you will experience much greater results because you’re using an angle. This stuff actually works!
The next monetization way we’re going to explore is affiliate marketing using info products.
Website Monetization Method no3: Affiliate Marketing Using Info Products
Now, this method is a little bit different than the Amazon affiliates ones we explored above. This strategy revolves around finding a quality info product and promoted on your site.
An info product is short for “informational product,” and most of the time, we’re talking about digital products. Examples include PDFs, e-books, books, video courses, audio courses, Excel sheets, etc.
The first step you should take is brainstorm. Create a list with all the products that are relative to your niche and target audience. Conduct Google researchers to find out even more products and don’t stop until you have a minimum of 30 products on your list.
Next, evaluate every product and pick the top three you believe are the best. The criteria for choosing the best product can be found through the questions I’ve listed below.
How to Evaluate an Info product Before Promoting It
These are the questions to ask your self before promoting someone else’s info-product on your site:
- Does the product support the “why” for your audience’s goals and needs?
- Does the product illustrate a clear transformation?
- Can the product be demonstrated in a clear way?
- Do you have proof that the product has helped you?
Plus one more thing to consider:
- Ideally, the product will become indispensable for your audience.
You don’t have to find a product that supports all of them, but you do want to choose something that meets at least three out of the five criteria.
By answering these questions, you would keep yourself on track to find a great valuable info product to promote. Please do not promote just any program because they have a high commission rate.
This is a sure strategy for failure! Instead, pick a product you believe in, something you have used or would use yourself.
Just a side note: I’m really proud of you, together we have come so far. This is a very long article filled with a lot of information. We’re almost done, I promise, I just need to share with you a few more golden tips! 🙂
Website Monetization Method no4: Create Your Own Info Product
Our next strategy is creating an info-product!!
When it comes creating your own info product there are a couple of popular choices:
- Create a digital audio course.
- Create a digital video course.
- Create an e-book.
- Create a physical book.
- Create some type of software.
- The info product strategy is by far the most time-consuming strategy on this list. This is especially true if you decide to create a digital video or audio course.
- The reason is that both video and audio require additional equipment and post-editing.
- However, if you are an artist, a music producer/engineer or a musician, you are likely to be skilled in the area of audio recording and post-production.
You Must Read This Before Starting on Your Info-Product
I advise my clients to create an info product only if they know the following:
- What is it, their audience wants?
- What are the specific problems (pain) their audience has?
- What is holding their audience back from achieving their goals?
In other words, you should do marketing research before investing weeks or even months creating a product no one wants to buy.
A Great Promotional Strategy
I will now reveal to you a great strategy!
- If you want to discover what type of products sell best to your audience, you should first promote an affiliate info-product at your site to test the waters.
- By doing that, you’ll understand what sells what doesn’t. Also, you will know where to focus your energy/time to create a product of your own so that you can better serve your audience.
Another strategy you can use is to ask your audience directly what they are struggling with and what kind of solution they’re looking for. You can do this by:
- inserting a multiple-choice form on your website,
- By creating a Lead Magnet or even by
- Contacting your email list directly.
What Is a Lead Magnet?
Here is a direct quote from optinmonster.com
“A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address or other contact information. Lead magnets usually offer a piece of digital, downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, report, eBook, whitepaper, video, etc”
Your email list is the most valuable asset you’ll ever have!
The Smart ABC Way to Use Lead Magnets
A) Create a pdf guide (lead magnet) about a subject you know your audience is interested in and what they are struggling with.
If you don’t know your audiences interest and struggles here is how to find out:
- Have a look at your top-ranking articles, note the subject of the article.
- Ask your email list directly what they are struggling with.
- If you don’t have an email list, just go on forums such as Quora or Reddit and on Facebook groups. Browse the questions people ask.
Here is an example of how to aks a forum question:
“Hi my name is….. I am about to write an article on the top 5 issues beginner guitar players face. If you could share your experience that would be great! Im interested in knowing What did you struggle with or with what you are struggling with atm?
What is your biggest challenge as a rooky guitar player?” Thank you guys!
B) Create a PDF lead magnet form on your site (using a builder such as Thrive Leads). Your audience can download the lead magnet for free in exchange for their email address.
C) Insert a few questions for your audience inside the lead magnet. Ask them to email the answers to you.
Or what you can do instead of emailing is insert a link to an online form they can fill out.
In exchange for their time, give them either a discount on one of your products or give them another (valuable) PDF guide for free.
- Keep in mind that the questions we talk about should be designed to uncover more information about what it is your audience wants. What their problems are and what they are struggling with. The soonest you find an issue, the majority of your audience faces, find a way to solve it for them.
You can create a digital course that addresses your target audiences’ problem and solves it. Figure out a price range for your course and start selling!
Our next awesome website, monetization method, is selling services!
Website Monetization Method No5: Sell Services
Selling services is a great way to deliver value and make good money while doing so.
- The services you will be selling are directly connected to your main area of focus and also on the type of website you are running.
- As an example, If you are a singer, you can sell studio vocal services.
- You could also tour as a backing vocalist together with another artist or band. That’s also a great way of building connections.
- If you’re a songwriter, you can offer songwriting services, topline services, lyric writing services or song review services.
- If you’re a music producer, you can offer music production services, vocal tuning services, track arrangement services, song review services, sound design services, ghost production, and many more.
If you want to expand selling services, you can use one (οr all) of the following platforms:
- Facebook and other social media
Some platforms I mentioned are general-purpose platforms (such as Fiverr), and others are music industry-specific platforms such as SoundBetter and Vocalizer.
I suggest you focus more on SoundBetter since it’s quite popular and attracts only individuals who are interested in music-related projects. But your skills have to be above average for sure. There is quite some competition SoundBetter, but there is also a high earning potential.
Of course, to sell services the professional way, you need the right gear (microphones. laptop, DAW, software, Vsts, headphones, cables, speakers).
For a complete and extensive list with all the gear you could possibly need, you can visit my recommended gear page right here. This list alone will save you hours of research and trial testing! I have done all the hard work already for you. Enjoy!
Now, let’s continue.
In any case, you want to follow the six strategies I have constructed that will help you get more clients and seal more deals.
The 6 Strategies That Teach You How to Persuade Anyone to Work with You and Become a Loyal Customer
I. Give for Free
The first strategy we’re going to explore is the: give for free strategy.
This may seem contradictory to our long-range goal, which is how to sell our services and acquire more customers, but it’s not!
Giving free value is an excellent way of showing the quality of your work and create a connection with your potential clients. If you give something for free, the receiving end will feel obligated to give something back to you.
Now, this rule applies only when you truly give value to someone. Avoid creating free low-value resources.
A few popular ways of delivering free resources are:
- Giving free e-books and PDFs they can download by inserting their email (lead magnets).
- Short videos or beginners courses that they can follow for free.
- Introductory 15-minute consultation call.
No matter which route you choose, you must give them something valuable. And this strategy is even more powerful when if they don’t expect getting such high level of value from you.
This brings us to the next strategy, which is:
II. Over-Promise and Over-Deliver
I hear a lot of companies these days do talk about under-promise and over-deliver. While this strategy does work, in my opinion, it’s a loser’s strategy. It’s easy to play it safe and stay in your comfort zone, but that’s not the way to grow.
That’s why we now will explore a better strategy that is way more effective, and that is the strategy of overpromising and over-delivering!
- Example of overpromising and over-delivering: When everyone else is giving value 10 Deliver value 20 when you say that you’ll deliver value 15. If you do that tTrust me, they are going to notice!
- And when they notice you will have set in motion, one of the most powerful marketing tactics. Referrals. We we talk more about referrals later in this article.
III. Present Clear Before and After Examples
- Potential clients need to see and understand how the transformation is going to take place.
- Also, they need to understand how their life will improve if they use your products and services.
- That’s why you need to provide your potential clients with clear before and after transformation examples.
- For example, if you are a mixing or mastering engineer, you can show them audio examples from songs before you worked on them and the final result you created.
- If you’re an artist, you can show them how your vocals transformed what otherwise would be just a boring instrumental. You can show them short video clips of you singing in the studio and the process that took place.
- You could also provide them with proof of your songs that are doing very well commercially and reaching a wide audience.
You can think of your own examples, depending on your area of focus.
IV. Customer Testimonials
Having on your website customer testimonials is a sure way of providing proof that what you do works!
I’ve seen some shady marketing tactics of people make up their own testimonials and placing them on their site. Please do NOT do that.
V. Entry Price Points
Every type of product has its price-sweet-spot.
That means that once you go above that sweet spot, people will think 10 times harder if they want to purchase your products. This happens because they’re getting outside their comfort zone.
- A great way to get around this sticking point is by creating entry price points.
- What you should do is create a product or service that provides value but is merely an introduction to your higher-paid service/product.
- If you like you can even offer this one for free, you just have to track how this free product is converting and transitioning into paid products over time.
Best Info Products Pricing Points List
- E-books: $10-$15 price range
- Video courses: $150-$400 price range
- Amazon affiliate products: $50-$150 price range
- Services: It depends on the service—anything between a few dollars and a few thousand dollars.
Give 95% of Your Content Away For Free
I’ve noticed that great entrepreneurs such as Timothy Ferris or Ramit Sethi price their top-level products and services 10x or even 100x higher than their competition!
They are able to do that by giving 95% of their content away for free (podcast, YouTube, blog, e-books, books). This allows them to build an enormous amount of trust and rapport and gives them leverage to set a high price on the top tier products.
Of course, they have to over-deliver big time!
VI. Bundle Your Services
I will let you in on a little-known secret: bundles sell exceptionally good.
Try creating an info product bundle or a service combination bundle.
For example you could offer three of your e-books that are normally priced $20 each for just $40.
Or if you sell services and you are a mixing engineer for every five songs you mix throw one in for free. If you like take a pen and a paper and write how you could create your own bundles.
(Bonus) VII. Ask for Referrals
Referrals are the most powerful, easy, and free way to get loyal customers that are on the edge of buying without you having to devote a lot of time to persuade them.
- Referrals are also a great way to expand your network. Recently I heard a story where a business owner said that he got 80% of his clients from two people. He was thankful because he had a lot of work but is also created a dependency relationship between him and those two individuals.
- The solution to his problem was that he should start asking his existing clients to refer them to other possible clients. In other words, he had to take advantage of his client’s network.
- And guess what… It worked! He managed not only to diversify his client stream, but he also managed to grow his business by 35% — all that using the power of referrals.
Website Monetization Method No6: Sell Merchandise
Selling merchandise might not be the number one monetization method I would recommend, but nevertheless, if the creation, design, and shipping costs are calculated properly, it is possible to create a steady income source from selling merch.
Why You Should NOT Focus Only on Selling Merch
Before we continue, I want to mention a trend I have observed (mostly) by YouTubers. I noticed that a lot of big channels (200K+ subs) use only two monetization methods. Selling merchandise and YouTube advertising.
I can’t deny that these two methods are great for creating an extra income, but they provide only 30% of your total income potential.
- If you want to make some serious cash and make four or even five figures per month, then use everything we talk about this article!
- It’s not one technique that will lead to prosperity but is a combination of strategies we explore that will lead you to riches.
A Few Merchandise Product Ideas
Back to our merchandise method. Here are a few products for you to consider:
Now that we have got an idea about the merch we want to sell, we have to find a way to created and distribute our merchandise. I know that this can become a tedious project, but I have a couple of low cost and high-value automated solutions for you.
If you want only to design your product, and have someone else to arrange the rest, choose any of the three services listed above. They all offer about the same options, with Awesome Merchandise being the one that provides more control over the distribution process.
Try the Following Ways for Selling Merchandise
You could sell merch:
- At live gigs
- By using a website shop
- By using Spotify Merchbar
- Using Bandcamp or similar platforms such as Etsy.
These are just a few techniques you can follow, try to be creative and come up with your own unique ideas! 😉
How About Discounts?
No matter which platform you’ll choose to sell your merch, you should always offer bundles and discounts.
- As a side note, if you decide to continue with Spotify, you should know that 80% of the top-selling T-shirts were priced under $25. This is a great indicator of how you could set your prices.
How About Shipping Costs?
You should also consider your shipping costs. If possible, offer free shipping if not you sales could decrease your by an average of 20%.
Your Branding and Logo
You should also ensure that your logo and branding are complete. It is a bad idea to change your logo after you have printed a couple of hundred shirts. Lol!
But What Type of Merchandise Should I Sell? Use Psychographic Data Points
- To discover the best items that you can sell, contact your email list or existing customers and conduct a survey to determine their age.
- We do this because their age will have a significant influence on the products you’ll create. An 18-year-old girl has very different interests compared to a 30-year-old man.
Nevertheless, you should ask your audience to give you more information such as details about their personalities, values, and lifestyle. These are otherwise called psychographic data points.
Website Monetization Method No7: Sell Your Music Online
Finally, if your artist a songwriter or a music producer, one of the most obvious ways you can earn an income is by selling your music online.
Here are 8 places for you to sell your music online
1) Sell Your Music Online: Your Own Website!
This is the first place you should consider selling your music. But to be successful, you need a lot of traffic. That’s where the techniques we talked about in this article come into place.
If you wish to integrate a music sales store, one of the easiest ways to achieve that is by using the track store provided by Beatstars.com. The set up is relatively easy. You can choose receiving between 70% out of every sale or pay Beatstars a monthly fee in order to receive 100% of your sales.
2) Sell Your Music Online: CD Baby
- Streaming should be your number one priority. CD-Baby helps you bring your music to all the big streaming services. The process is fairly easy, and it takes just a couple of minutes to set everything up.
- Furthermore, CD baby offers the option to put your music in record stores; to put up a single, it will cost you almost $10 and a whole album, almost $50.
I highly recommend this service since they present very good results.
3) Sell Your Music Online:Soundotcom
Soundotcom is a company that focuses on selling royalty-free background tracks.
This service targets more producers and songwriters than artists. If you want to join, you should have 30 or more songs.
This is bad news if you create low-quality songs and are focused on creating quick cash, but it’s very good news if you create quality tracks and are looking to market your music in a place where there is less competition.
Lastly, Soundotcom gives you 50% of the royalties, and most of the tracks sold are priced at $20 or above.
4) Sell Your Music Online:TuneCore
If you understand CD baby, then you most definitely understand TuneCore.
- These two services are very similar, with the main difference being that TuneCore focuses solely on streaming services.
- Also, the pricing is a bit different—the charge about $10 for a single and $30 for an album.
PRO TIP: Interested in finding out how much money does a platinum single make? If you do, you can visit my article right here: How much money does a platinum single make.
PRO TIP 2: Your releasing schedule is very important. Release too many songs in your audience will feel overwhelmed, but release too little you’re running the danger to be forgotten. If you’re interested in this topic, you may want to read an article I wrote that fully addresses this issue! Titled: This Is How Often You Should Release a Song.
5) Sell Your Music Online: Fiverr
Fiverr is a multipurpose platform very can find and hire people for all kinds of services. Obviously, this also includes mixing engineers mastering engineers songwriters artists, musicians, and producers.
Fiber offers a great moneyback guarantee if the requirements of the gig are not met. This means that you should make precise arrangements with your clients before they order something from you.
- I must mention that Fiverr works best for individual orders, meaning that if you have an existing library, this may not be the best place to sell these songs for passive income purposes.
- Instead, people will contact you and ask you to create something that is tailor-made to their specific needs. This will take up more of your time, but on the upper side, you should also charge more.
6) Sell Your Music Online: Vocalizer
Vocalizer is a platform that operates with the same mentality we saw at Fiverr, with the main difference being that everything here is music-related. That means that everyone that enters this website is a potential client.
7) Sell Your Music Online: LuckStock
LuckStock is a bit different compared to the rest. In its core, it is a company that promotes royalty-free music to other companies and producers.
They focus more on background music for movies, jingles for commercials, interests for radio, podcasts, and YouTube videos. The main difference lies in the fact that LuckStock decides the price for each track based on a variety of factors such as complexity, song length, and originality.
They also have a screening process that you must pass if you want to make use of their services.
8) Sell Your Music Online: Beatstars
Beatstars is an online platform where it’s possible to buy and sell beats and instrumentals. It’s an excellent option for producers because they get the change to present their creations to a broader audience.
That’s it! We have reached the end of this (very long) article, but its not the end of our journey! If you want to discover more about music marketing techniques, visiting our Music Marketing section here.
See you around!